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Article: Design change management in the nuclear sector

5 March 2015

Nuclear Engineering International 

A new report from the World Nuclear Association looks at mechanisms for utilities, vendors and the regulatory bodies to work together to support reactor design standardisation throughout a reactor fleet's operational lifetime. By Barry Kaufer

In January 2007 the World Nuclear Association (WNA) established a working group to stimulate dialogue between the nuclear industry (including reactor vendors, operators and utilities) and nuclear regulators on achieving worldwide convergence of safety standards for reactor designs. 

The Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (CORDEL) working group evolved from a group of experts discussing international standardisation in nuclear safety design and standards. It is now an established and recognised WG dedicated to analysing and forging common understanding in key areas of nuclear energy policy.

The CORDEL working group's mission is to promote the standardisation of nuclear reactor designs. This can be achieved only by the development of a worldwide nuclear regulatory environment where internationally accepted standardised reactor designs, certified and approved by a recognised competent authority in the country of origin, can be widely deployed without major design changes due to national regulations. In practice, this would mean that generic design certification and safety evaluations approved in the country of origin would be acceptable in other countries without the need to duplicate or repeat the entire design certification process.


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